On Cancelling Fireworks and Taking Everything Away from Inhumane Slumlords

Tea & Two Slices is a long-running local news round-up by NEEDS frontman and veteran dishwasher Sean Orr, who lives and works in Gastown, deeply aware of his privilege.

You love to see it: Vancouver council votes unanimously to expropriate 2 DTES hotels for $1 each. A victory for the people. A victory for everyone who had to endure endless suffering at the hands of the worst scumbag slumlords this city has ever known. For every rat/bed bug/cockroach-infested room they had to live in. For every bylaw violation, broken appliance, and plumbing disaster they had to deal with. Let this be a shot across the bow to all SRO landlords. Let this set a precedent and be the first step in a renewed push into non-market housing in this city.

Prior to the vote, Cooke said the Sahotas would file a court challenge and injunction against the expropriation if the city moved ahead.

But Jeff Frame, a B.C. lawyer specializing in expropriation law, said it would face an uphill battle because of the broad powers cities have to expropriate property.

“It just strikes me as kind of a slap in the face of an owner,” he said.

A slap in the face of two millionaire delinquents? Give me a break. The Sahotas got off lucky.

Expropriate care homes: Seniors’ home confines 94-year-old blind woman to bedbug-infested room for 2 weeks. I really hope every boomer who is offended by the ‘OK Boomer’ meme is a million more times offended by this. “I’m infuriated that we still are allowing these corporations to make money off our seniors…while delivering shoddy care.” This is ageism. This is violence. This is capitalism.

Meanwhile, Big Pharma and the BC government made an agreement to switch the formula of methadone. The resulting mess may have cost thousands of lives. And when the British Columbia Association for People on Methadone tried to raise the alarm, they were stonewalled: B.C. quietly allowing some methadone patients to revert to previous treatment amid relapses, overdoses. This is why peer support networks are so vital. “Dr. Sutherland described the change as a ‘catastrophe’ that could have been avoided by involving people who use drugs in the planning and implementation process.”. Yeah, but then that would mean actually humanizing drug users and we wouldn’t want that. /s

Related: Nurses & Doctors Hate Drug Users.

Nah, it’s much more profitable to continue to dehumanize and criminalize drug users, even when it’s…legal? Sarah Leamon: Heavy-handed cannabis enforcement on Thurlow Street punishes Vancouver medicinal users.

What’s more, medicinal cannabis patients need medicinal cannabis. Without access to their medicine, they suffer.

Access means more than simply having a store to purchase a product in.

Access means speaking to a trusted expert, who can provide insight, guidance, and advice about which medicine is best for which patient. It means having a variety of products available, designed to address specific symptoms and needs.

Access means options.

It also means affordability.

Many cannabis patients find themselves in precarious employment situations, unable to work due to chronic pain or debilitating illness. Many are aged and living on fixed incomes.

Are you starting to see a common thread emerge here? Have I hammered it home long enough? Neoliberalism kills.

Not saying that we might need this for the revolution but… B.C. man selling WWII-era tank-like armoured vehicle on Craigslist for US$75K.

Vancouver would be cooler if: An alternative to police: Mental health team responds to emergencies in Oregon.

No Fun City? Fireworks ban: Vancouver approves motion to stop sale. This right after I read the fascinating history of Vancouver’s Long, Explosive Relationship With Halloween. Like all things bureaucratic this will just embolden the black market and make things more unsafe. (Oh, and right on cue, Vancouver Is Awesome tries to capitalize on it: Show your love for (soon to be illegal) fireworks in Vancouver with this t-shirt. Ugh.) But seriously, what are all those empty Vancouver store fronts going to do now?

Honour Bound: Help dishwasher Kevin O’Donnel with his medical bills.

RIP: Brenden James Gunn Obituary.

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